The species diversity indices, as defined by the number of species,S; Shannon-Wiener index,H(S) and Buzas-Gibson index,É, of DSDP sites 219, 220, 237 and 238 were measured to determine the benthic foraminiferal diversity patterns in the Indian Ocean deep sea sequences during the Neogene. The Time-Stability hypothesis could satisfactorily explain the observed diversity patterns. The general patterns of diversity suggest environmental stability during the Neogene. However, few small fluctuations in diversity during the Middle Miocene (c.14·8 Ma), Late Miocene (c.6·0 Ma) and Late Pliocene (c.2·0 Ma) may possibly be the effects of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) activity in this region. The benthic foraminiferal diversity in the tropical Indian Ocean is more than the high latitudinal areas with comparable depths.